Remember, Hublot had presented in 2020 a reinterpretation of the original 1980 watch which at the time emanated from the MDM brand of Carlo Crocco (MDM meaning Marie Daniele Watches, taking up the name of his wife). Yes, there was a time when Hublot was not a brand but a model. In any case, it was nice to rediscover the spirit of the original piece 40 years later even if the Classic Fusion Original of 2020 was not a clone of the initial Hublot. To tell the truth, almost everything was modified (the size, the type of movement, the bezel etc…) but the designers had managed to stage in a context more adapted to today’s market the sober design and efficiency of the model imagined by Carlo Crocco.
The Classic Fusion Original, which celebrated Hublot’s 40th anniversary, stood out from the “standard” Classic Fusion in the permanent collection by the work carried out on the dial. The indexes disappeared, the brand logo was enlarged and the “automatic” inscription was removed. Logical since the original model was quartz and even if the 2020 watch was powered by an automatic movement, the inscription became superfluous as part of the celebration. The other distinctive element was the use of a very elegant double folding clasp, in any case more refined than that usually used by the “standard” Classic Fusion. The only downside to this buckle was the need to cut the rubber strap to adjust it to size, which was not required with the standard folding clasp.
The Classic Fusion Original 40th anniversary was presented as part of a limited series whose number of copies varied according to the material of the case used (100 pieces for the yellow gold version, 200 for those in titanium and black ceramic ). I found this choice a little strange because this watch deserved to be part of the permanent collection. The other subject that made me tick at the time was the choice, surprising to say the least, to use the 45mm case, the largest of the Classic Fusion, to pay homage to a watch that was originally 36mm. .
The excellent news is that Hublot has just answered on these two points. The Classic Fusion Original enters, since the presentation of the new models in January 2023, in the permanent collection and above all becomes available in three sizes (33, 38 and 42mm), always with the 3 materials (yellow gold, titanium and black ceramic).
The folding clasp is much more refined:
This choice is wise. The 33mm watch is aimed at female wrists and is powered by a quartz caliber. The 38mm watch is decidedly mixed and is the most faithful to the original watch. Finally, the 42mm watch offers the best presence on the wrist without appearing excessive. Indeed, let’s not forget that the bezel is thick and that the opening of the dial remains limited. In my opinion, the 42mm watch rather offers a feeling close to that of a 40mm watch. In any case, whatever the size, what does not change (and this is Hublot’s great strength) is the wearing comfort thanks to the rubber strap held in place by the folding clasp, even if the latter, like already mentioned, requires cutting to fit.
The HUB1110-1 movement is actually a Sellita SW300-1 caliber:
The 38mm and 42mm watches are powered by the same automatic movement found in the 2020 45mm version (and the Classic Fusion 3-hand automatic). This is the HUB1110-1 caliber which has a power reserve of 42 hours for a frequency of 4hz. Just remember that the caliber of the 45mm version bears the reference HUB1112-1 due to the modification of the date disc given the larger case. This caliber is in fact a Sellita SW300-1, in other words a clone of the ETA 2892-A2. As always, it will arouse the same remarks. It is a reliable, durable caliber but obviously the fact that it is used in much less expensive watches constitutes a weak point for the qualitative perception of the watches. So, admittedly, this move will get the job done without a problem. But personally I expect more from Hublot, especially in the context of a watch that I find aesthetically very appealing. Moreover, it would have been interesting for Hublot to work its oscillating weight differently to distinguish it from that of the Classic Fusion “Standard”. I understand very well that the production of the Unico movement is limited and that at this stage, even in a three-hand version, it cannot animate a large part of the collection. In addition, its use would have resulted in a significant increase in rates. But in 2023, Hublot must be able to quickly equip its Classic Fusion with a more rewarding movement (and above all more efficient in terms of power reserve duration). The Classic Fusion Original deserves it anyway.
The 42mm version:
The prices of the different versions of the Classic Fusion Original are slightly higher than those of the corresponding Classic models (knowing that yellow gold is specific to the Classic Fusion Original whereas it is King Gold that is used with the Classic Fusion “Standard”). For example, the Classic Fusion Original 42mm in titanium is sold for 8,600 euros against 7,900 euros for its Classic Fusion equivalent. The price reaches 10,400 euros in 42mm black ceramic and 25,200 euros in 42mm yellow gold.
The 38mm version is closest to the spirit of the original watch:
In any case, I consider the Classic Fusion Original to be the most relevant Classic Fusion proposal from Hublot. The more streamlined and elegant style and the presence of the more refined folding clasp are a real plus. Remain the sensitivity compared to the movement used and it is according to the appreciation of each one. For my part, I do not consider this point as blocking but I can understand that beyond 8,000 euros, it can be. However, it would be a shame not to appreciate this watch for this reason because the homage to the original watch, especially with better adapted sizes, is successful.
+ sizes more in keeping with the spirit of the original watch
+ a sleeker and more elegant dial
+ a refined folding clasp…
– … but which requires cutting the bracelet to fit it to size
– the performance of the movement, down compared to today’s standards.